Dentist in Plano, TX educating patients on gum disease symptoms and treatments
Many people throughout the country have gum disease that isn’t currently being treated. This could be because many of us don’t even know we have it or don’t know the symptoms. Dr. Bindu Kolli of SouthFork Dental in Plano, TX recommends that you schedule bi-yearly dental exams and cleanings so that gum disease can be caught in the earliest stages before serious treatment is necessary.
Gum disease – what is it?
Also called periodontal disease, it is an infection of the gums that support your teeth and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. You may not realize you are developing gum disease, as it can often be painless. This makes regular dental exams crucial so that your dentist can look for any signs. One indicator that your dentist will look at is the sulcus (this is the v-shaped crevice below your teeth) and how deep it measures visit to visit as this is an indicator of gum health.
Gum disease is often caused by plaque, the sticky bacteria-filled film which forms on your teeth, which contains gum damaging toxins and leads to periodontal disease. Dentists tend to classify the periodontal disease into two major stages:
- Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and easily reversible. Indicators of gingivitis include red, swollen gums which bleed easily, usually during brushing. Your dentist can provide gum disease treatment to address gingivitis and combined with regular brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis is the more advanced stage of gum disease in which both the gums and supporting bone structure begin to be damaged. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and other, more severe, damage to your teeth’ surrounding support system.
Leading causes and symptoms of gum disease
There are several factors that increase your likelihood of developing gum disease, including:
- Tobacco use (both smoking and chewing)
- Dental bridges that do not fit properly
- Defective fillings
- Poor oral hygiene
- Diseases such as diabetes
There are several symptoms you should pay attention to, as they may be indicative that you have gum disease. These can include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Swollen gums that are red and tender
- Gums which have begun to recede from the teeth
- Constant bad breath
- Teeth that have begun to come loose